Poll: Biden and Sanders Losing General Election Edge over Trump

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden interact during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio. A record 12 presidential hopefuls are participating in the debate hosted by CNN and The New York Times. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joe Biden (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are slowly losing their general election edge over President Trump, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey released this week.

While Democrat voters tend to believe that Biden stands the greatest chance of defeating Trump in a general election matchup, his once-secure lead is slipping.

Morning Consult/Politico surveyed 1,997 registered voters on a hypothetical Biden-Trump matchup, and while it showed Biden besting Trump by five percentage points, that is a six-point drop from the 11 point lead he held over the president in June.

According to the survey, taken October 25-28, Biden would defeat Trump 41 percent to Trump’s 36 percent. However, June’s survey showed the former vice president with an 11 point lead, 44 percent to Trump’s 33 percent.

Trump is also gaining on Sanders. In June, Sanders led Trump 42 percent to 32 percent. October’s survey, however, showed Trump two points behind Sanders.

The survey also showed Trump overtaking Warren in a hypothetical 2020 matchup, 36 percent to 35 percent. The margin of error is +/- two percent.

As Morning Consult indicates, Trump’s gains come from two demographics he has traditionally struggled with, women and young voters:

While Trump cut into Biden’s edge with several demographic groups between the two surveys, some of the president’s biggest gains came among women and the youngest voters, two groups that are typically seen as some of his weakest voting blocs. Trump trails Biden by 11 points among women in the latest poll, conducted Oct. 25-28, compared with a 20-point gap in June.

And while he still lags 14 points behind Biden among voters ages 18 to 29, that’s a significant improvement on the 28-point deficit he faced in June. Independents are also falling in line with the incumbent: Biden’s 1-point lead among those voters is down from an 11-point edge in June.

While Democrat voters have tended to flock to Biden due to his perceived electability, which may be changing.

“Forty percent of Democratic primary voters said in September that they thought Biden has the best chance of beating Trump in 2020, more than twice the share who said the same of any other candidate,” Morning Consult noted.

“To that extent, declining returns in head-to-head matchups against Trump may pose a unique risk to his prospects for securing the nomination,” it added.

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